Complementary and alternative therapies for Down syndrome

Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2005;11(2):149-55. doi: 10.1002/mrdd.20063.


In their role as committed advocates, parents of children with Down syndrome have always sought alternative therapies, mainly to enhance cognitive function but also to improve their appearance. Nutritional supplements have been the most frequent type of complementary and alternative therapy used. Cell therapy, plastic surgery, hormonal therapy, and a host of other therapies such as massage therapy have been used. There is a lack of well-designed scientific studies on the use of alternative therapies in individuals with Down syndrome. Antioxidants hold theoretical promise for treatment of the cognitive, immune, malignancy, and premature aging problems associated with Down syndrome. Medications for treatment of Alzheimer's disease may also result in benefit for the population of individuals with Down syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Down Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Down Syndrome / immunology
  • Down Syndrome / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Minerals / therapeutic use
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Piracetam / therapeutic use
  • Surgery, Plastic / methods
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antioxidants
  • Minerals
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Vitamins
  • Piracetam